MONROE (WWJ) – The U.S. Coast Guard said the bodies of two men who went missing while fishing in Monroe County have been pulled from Lake Erie.
Officials say the bodies of 54-year-old Godfried McKinney, of Southfield, and 64-year-old Kendrick Covington, of Detroit, were recovered around 10:50 a.m. Thursday by a Customs and Border Protection boatcrew in the vicinity of the Fermi II nuclear power plant, about seven miles offshore. A cause of death wasn’t immediately determined.
Six hours earlier, McKinney’s wife called the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office to report that her husband and Covington were overdue from a fishing trip, stating she hadn’t seen her husband since about 9 a.m. Wednesday. Officials contacted Covington’s wife, who said the two men were expected to be home at 9:30 or 10 p.m. that evening.
Coast Guard crews in Detroit deployed a helicopter search as daylight broke Thursday morning, and a response boat from Toledo was sent to search waterways. Nearby marinas were also checked by crews searching from land.
Coast Guard Lt. Justin Westmiller wants to remind the public that boaters should always check the weather forecasts before heading out.
“Last night, the winds were 20 to 25 mph. What we want people to make sure of is they pay attention to the weather at all times, because Lake Erie and the Great Lakes can get rough at a moment’s notice,” he said. “Anytime you get into a wide open area of water like that, the winds can cause the waves to pick up quickly and they can get big.”
Westmiller said anyone who goes out on a boat should always wear a life jacket. He also said one of the most important things boaters can do to stay safe on the water it to take a marine band radio with them.
“People mistake their cell phones for reliable communication capability and it’s not always. They can get wet and become useless,” he said.